Global CIO: In Google-Microsoft Catfight, Insults Are For Losers - InformationWeek

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Government // Enterprise Architecture
12:04 PM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans

Global CIO: In Google-Microsoft Catfight, Insults Are For Losers

The hissy-fit about copying search results means absolutely nothing in the real world of customers who couldn't possibly care less.

In an NFL playoff game one year ago, the Minnesota Vikings were plastering the Dallas Cowboys 27-3 late in the game yet Minnesota's Brett Favre continued to throw deep passes even though the game appeared out of reach.

The Vikings did indeed score another touchdown with only a minute or two left in the game, which caused Cowboys linebacker Keith Brooking to storm over toward the Viking sideline, screaming and waving his fist at the team that was humiliating him and his teammates.

And announcer Troy Aikman, a former Cowboy himself, made the following observation: if Keith Brooking doesn't like what the Vikings are doing, and if he didn't want them to score another touchdown, then he and his teammates should have played better defense.

"If you don't like what they're doing, then stop them," Aikman said. "That's what you're paid to do."

That scenario came to mind as I read about the verbal jousting going on between Google and Microsoft over Google's claim that Microsoft's Bing search engine is copying Google's results.

In a post called Microsoft's Bing uses Google search results—and denies it, Google Fellow Amit Singhal argues that the evidence is indisputable.

In his opening paragraph, Singhal frames out the good guys and the bad guys with no mushy gray area in the middle: "By now, you may have read Danny Sullivan's recent post: "Google: Bing is Cheating, Copying Our Search Results" and heard Microsoft's response, "We do not copy Google's results." However you define copying, the bottom line is, these Bing results came directly from Google."

Soon thereafter, Microsoft senior VP Yusuf Mehdi responded pointedly in a blog post called Setting the record straight in which he talked about "the level of protest and feigned outrage from Google" and expressed puzzlement over "what brought them to a place where they would level these kinds of accusations."

As I see it, so far, so good—each side stating its position clearly and pointing to facts to buttress its case, and may the best product win and all that.

But then Microsoft's Mehdi played right into Google's hands by saying this:

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